Friday, February 26, 2016

The Beatles Memorabilia for Auction

In December of 2015, Julien's Auctions featured items from the London estate of Ringo Starr and Barbara Bach. This included musical instruments including drums and guitars and career memorabilia from The Beatles era, including his 1963 Ludwig Oyster Black Pearl three-piece drum kit used by Ringo in more than 200 performances as a drummer for The Beatles between May 1963 and February 1964. The drums sold for $2.2 million, plus a 20 percent buyer's premium.

The original Beatles 1961 Recording Contract.
Back in November, Swann Galleries in New York City auctioned off highly-prized first editions in magnificent condition. And condition, as the gavel prices indicated, was everything. A first edition of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The House of the Baskervilles sold for $8,125. Rex Stout's The League of Frightened Men (1935) sold for five times that amount. But the highlight was a first edition copy of Dashiell Hammett's book, The Red Harvest, from 1929. This book sold for $65,000. A 1930 first edition of The Maltese Falcon, with the original dust jacket, fetched $27,500. These auction items also required a 25 percent buyer's premium.

The only depiction of Superman by artist Frank Frazetta, done in 1988, sold for $35,420 at Hake's Auctions in York, Pennsylvania. The same auction house was responsible for the sale of a framed album cover of The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, autographed by all four members of the group, for $27,781. There was also a 15 percent buyer's premium.

Shirley Temple's Doll Collection
Shirley Temple's red and white polka dot dress, from the movie Stand Up and Cheer, sold for $75,000 in July. The action house was Theriault's, commissioned to auction off more than 600 items from the estate of Shirley Temple. These included dolls, costumes, autographs, her toy trumpet marching costume from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (which sold for $15,000) and her costume from Heidi. There was a 12 to 14 percent buyer's premium. Of amusement was her birth certificate which sold for $5,500, and movie posters that sold from anywhere between $700 and $7,000. For a complete list of the items sold, click here:

Concept art for the 1939 MGM movie, The Wizard of OZ, was sold by Heritage Auctions in August of 2014. (How this auction slipped under the radar I do not know. I would have kept tabs on this one much sooner.) A pair pf pre-production concept paintings from the movie sold for a combined $45,625. You can buy a reproduction movie poster for the 1925 classic, Phantom of the Opera, was an original sells for a lot more. In July of 2014, a rare original one-sheet sold for $203,150 at the Vintage Movie Posters Signature Auction. Charlie Chaplin still commanded value when a six-sheet for Sunnyside (1919) went for $71,700. A poster for Casablanca sold for $83,650. But don't mistake these values as standard in the collecting market. If you find a Casablanca movie poster at a flea market, condition and exactly what kind of poster will make the difference between $5 and $83,650.

The only six-foot example of the 1931 horror classic, Frankenstein, sold at the Vintage Movie Posters Auction in March. Gavel price was $358,000. The same auction sold a six-sheet poster for The Maltese Falcon (1941) for $191,200.

If you collect toy robots, you might find this of interest. A Jupiter Robot with the original remote control, in the original box, sold for $36,000. Murphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania, has been known for selling high-grade vintage toys and this was no exception. A Linemar Popeye and Olive Oil tank with the original box went for $16,800. Prices included a 20 percent buyer's premium.

You know that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences condemns the sale of Oscar statuettes but apparently you can sell a Tony Award. Mary Martin's Tony Award (1959-1960 season) for her performance in The Sound of Music on Broadway sold for $43,750. RR Auction in Boston, Mass. was responsible for the sale. The Tony Award originated from the estate of Larry Hagman, son of Mary Martin. The same auction house was responsible for the recent sale of Ringo Starr's screen-worn jacket from the 1965 movie, Help! which sold for $46,527.

Beatles memorabilia was sold at the Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction in September, conducted by Heritage Auctions. A 1966 sealed first-state steal copy of The Beatles' "Butcher Cover" of their Yesterday and Today LP, considered mint of the highest condition, sold for $75,000. The very first recoding contract for The Beatles (signed by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Pete Best) sold for $93,750. Add to these titles a 25 percent buyers premium.